Article 9 of the Japanese
Peace Constitution and Peace
in Asia -Prayer from Okinawa
ー 沖縄からの祈り ー
The 7th Global lnter-Religious Conference on Article 9
of the Japanese Peace Constitution
The year 2020 was a historic pivot point for the world. First, the novel coronavirus COVID-19 caused a global pandemic, infecting vast numbers of people in Europe, North America and elsewhere, and leading to many deaths. The pandemic, which has not subsided yet, has affected our lives tremendously—the way we work and communicate, the functioning of economy and industry, our understanding of freedom and politics, even our sense of values. Historically, pandemics have accompanied advancements toward globalization (and new contacts between peoples). It is possible to view this pandemic, too, as spreading explosively amid the post-Cold War globalization. Because the issue is panhuman in scale, response should be on a panhuman scale. In this sense, the issue of peace, the issue of climate change and the issue of pandemic all raise the same question: How can humanity become a unified existence called “humanity.”
Based on such a perspective, the United Nations called for a “global ceasefire” in March 2020, as the pandemic beginning to spread (General Secretary Guterres), and issued a series of cautions such as “States must not abuse emergency measures to suppress human rights,” and “No exceptions with COVID-19: Everyone has the right to life-saving interventions” (UN Experts). These were very appropriate statements, which strike at the heart of the issue. But conflicts did not stop in many parts of the world, and it is truly disappointing to see governments, which have sowed division and confrontation and made light of scientific knowledge, show no sign of engaging with issues that are important to all humanity. ...